Although cornrows have ancient roots in black culture, they are still not commonly seen as a ‘finished’ look on black women. Taraji P. Henson certainly didn’t view them that way when she showed up for a CR Fashion Book shoot. Her plan was to wear a wig over her intricate protective cornrow style, but the photographer thought otherwise.

I wear wigs a lot, especially for photo shoots. I have this girl Kendra who braids my hair. She braids so intricately, so beautifully. So I’m trying on the clothes and the silk scarf I have on my head slips off, and I say, “Hey, look at my cornrows, aren’t they beautiful?” Bruce Weber is standing there and he goes, “We’ll shoot that.” And I go,“What? We’ll shoot what?” And he says, “We’ll shoot your hair just like that, it’s beautiful.” And part of me was like, No, no, no, NO! This is the hair no one is supposed to see. This is like behind-closed-doors hair. I feel naked. I feel like a plucked chicken…or a wet one. A baby chicken! But Bruce says to me, “It’s not about the hair, it’s your face.” So I just decided to trust the artist’s vision. As an actress that’s what we do. We are vulnerable every time we put our art out there. Underneath that hair is my soul, and it’s me, it’s mine.

The result is a set of gorgeous photos that resonate with the theme of Taraji’s interview — truth and transparency.

That’s how powerful art is. It can turn a hateful person into a loving person. It can turn a racist into a person who loves. Art uncovers the truth. My driving force is the truth. I want to breathe truth into every character no matter how ugly or pretty, whether I agree with them or not. Maybe God just put truth serum in my blood. I can’t lie. I have no mask. The truth will manifest on my face.

Love it! Check out the photos.

CR Fashion Book
CR Fashion Book
CR Fashion Book
CR Fashion Book
CR Fashion Book
CR Fashion Book
CR Fashion Book
CR Fashion Book
CR Fashion Book
CR Fashion Book

We have to hit this with a Yaas Queen!!!

giphy

Ladies, what are your thoughts?

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila Noelliste, founder of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008). Social media, pop culture and black beauty enthusiast. bell hooks' hair twin...

Leave a Reply

27 Comments on "Taraji P. Henson Did a Photo Shoot With Her ‘Under the Wig’ Cornrows and it Was Fierce"

Notify of
avatar
Don'tBSoNosey

All involved in this photo shoot are brilliant, from the gorgeous cornrows style by Kendra, to the photographer creating magnificent themes within the photo shoot, and Taraji rocking it all!! Everyone made this happen, and hopefully will start a long-lasting trend of rocking natural hair in all styles.

Miranda

Interestingly enough, a lot of AA who identify themselves as black do not view Africans as black. Nor do a lot of Africans that I have spoken to identify themselves as black. It seems as though in the city where I am from and the university which I go to that incorporates people from around the globe, black seems to be a term descriptive of mainly AA.

TWA4now

I thought her braids were finger waves until I looked HARD enough. She ROCKED IT!! Nice photo shoot!

AfroCapricornette
My dear, if in your corner of Mama Africa, cornrows are not a finished look, then I cannot argue with you. In my corner, they are…whether with western or traditional attire. Yes, we’ve all fallen victim to Western standards, not just in Africa but Asia. Go to India and see their bleaching problem. Mothers encourage their daughters to do so to get husbands but I digress. I wear cornrows here in America as a finished look all the time, as well as my natural hair in a kinky fro…and many Black women in America wear cornrows too (regardless of origin).… Read more »
Myllee

West Africa doesn’t represent the whole Africa.

TWA4now

Wow, that’s the BEST thing you said thus far.

AfroCapricornette

Maybe cornrows are not seen as finished in AA culture so please state that and don’t lump all Black women as the same. African women since forever have worn, still wear and will continue to wear cornrows as finished hairstyles…whether with western or traditional attires. Only in America I learnt cornrows and Bantu knots (which are an AA term, btw) were not meant to be seen outside the house smh.

Guest

Preach! It’s the slavery and colonization that has resulted in this situation where people think black hairstyles are just trendy not classy or classic. It is up to us to free ourselves from this mentally. You still see black women making fun of other black women with natural hair. Smh.

Myllee

I think it’s more because they were supposed to add her weave/wig on it. There have been numerous American celebs wearing thus style on the red carpert. It has nothing to do with no being an out style.

Mary Burrell

You always speak the truth

fromanotherplanet
…but the writer is writing a piece on an AA woman who stars in a predominantly AA show shot in America and airs on American television. Clearly, AA culture is the focal point here. Like, do you guys just find any reason to be outraged? And let’s even take it to African culture sis. I can accuse you of generalizing as well. I am also from “Africa” and in my corner of Africa, cornrows is NOT a finished look. 99% of the women have also been brainwashed by Western standards of beauty and most women rock lopsided wigs and the… Read more »
Naima Major Berry
Black women choose to make the change. When we change our own minds about our own hair and other non-white features, others will follow. It is “us” not “them.” Every negative comment I have received about my chances based on my African looks has come from alleged black women; the majority of the compliments about my natural looks…. not so much from my own folk. Guess what? Who needs it? Who cares? The nonsense about corporate jobs, conform or else, is just that, nonsense. Try some litigation ladies. The precedents have already been set by black women who had the… Read more »
MalikaiDragonSlayer

Not only is Taraji beautiful but those guys she was with…

Moi
Could you correct “Although cornrows have ancient roots in black culture, they are still not commonly seen as a ‘finished’ look on black women,” to “although cornrows have ancient roots in black culture, they are still not commonly seen as a ‘finished’ look on African American women?” African women do wear cornrows, which we call weaving or the other version didi, like that a lot. I hope this isn’t seen as an “us versus them” statement. It isn’t. I would hate for my comment to be taken as such, since I am tired of the divide. However, your first statement… Read more »
fromanotherplanet
Which “Africa” is this that you people keep talking about tho??? I was born and raised in West Africa and have traveled extensively throughout the continent and I am yet to see corporate and professional and famous African women rocking bantu knots, afro puffs and cornrows in a professional setting. Most rural women wear cornrows not because they are so “in love” with natural hair but because of their low socio-economic status i.e lack of funds to maintain and manage relaxed hair. When the income level goes up, the hair becomes more straight. And all of you Africans on this… Read more »
Moi
Could you correct “Although cornrows have ancient roots in black culture, they are still not commonly seen as a ‘finished’ look on black women,” to “although cornrows have ancient roots in black culture, they are still not commonly seen as a ‘finished’ look on African American women?” Has African women do wear cornrows, which we call weaving or the other version didi, like that a lot. I hope this isn’t seen as a us versus them statement. It isn’t. I would hate for my comment to be taken as such since I am tried of the divide. However, your first… Read more »
BubblyBetty

The cornrows are beautiful! No wig needed! GO Taraji!

TT

Yo in that last picture she’s giving me Diana Ross tease honey….yassssss

Gretchen Ward Waller

Gorgeous photo shoot! I love Taraji!

JACKEY HM

I LOVE TARAJI AND I THINK SHE ALWAYS LOOKS GREAT. HER HAIR LOOKS REALLY BEAUTIFUL.

MiMiShell

She rocked it!

Saran

the last but one picture though!

kaydenpat

Taraji always looks fierce. Love her!
While I don’t watch “Empire”, I’m so happy for her success.

Guest

Why oh why have we not fallen in love with our natural hair as a people at this point? The photos are stunning and her hair braider did a great job.

Ministry101

How beautiful!

Claudette UK

Her cainrows are gorgeous. How could she think otherwise?

Miss Elisa K.

I love it.

wpDiscuz